Now that you can check the time on your mobile phone, fewer and fewer people are into wristwatches. And even fewer are convinced to max out their credit card to buy one. For those who still wish to tell the time from a timepiece and not a gadget, but want to stay within budget, here are my picks of the best men’s watches under 100 USD.
And guess what? They can get the job done just as well as the expensive ones!
Timex T499059J Expedition Field
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If you’re looking for an affordable timepiece for an adventurous vacation during which your to-do list includes swimming, hiking, skydiving, or similar activities, the Times T499059J is the watch to buy – a sturdy wristwatch, water resistant up to 100 meters, and will do the job without needing to break the bank.
The size, thickness and colors of the watch speak for its masculinity. It has a 42mm black steel case with a brown leather strap and black clasp at the end. Despite its solid appearance, the watch doesn’t feel heavy on the wrist and won’t make it difficult for you to lift your hand.
The suede like strap has a well-manicured finish that feels very comfortable and is very easy to put on and take off. The window is mineral crystal and the back is made of stainless steel.
Although the watch face might appear to be quite busy at first glance, the color scheme is very well thought to make viewing easy. In fact, for me the color scheme is the most appealing feature of this watch – while black and brown are typical men’s colors, the contrasting yellow chronograph hand stands out against the dark background, making it visible even in dim light. And if it’s completely dark, you can press the middle button to activate the soft indigo glow of the backlight. There’s also a date window at the 4’o clock position.
There’s quartz movement inside with an analog display. The chronograph measures 1/20th of a second and also has a ‘split’ function so you can pause the seconds time if you take a break during an activity and continue again, but do not want to include it in your lap time. Some users have complained about the accuracy of the chronograph – the hand either stops between 59-60 seconds or between 60-1.
The most striking thing about this watch? It’s quieter than other Timex watches. In fact reviews reveal that unlike other Timex watches, the T499059J makes no noise at all.
In short, the Timex T499059J is an ideal timepiece if you want a watch that will be worn occasionally only when you go out for adventurous activities.
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I really liked how a review said that this is a watch large enough to be noticed, but not large enough to look like a kid’s watch. I think that sums up a lot of goodness about the Invicta 90242-002. It is way under $100 but can be easily mistaken for a much more expensive watch, owing to its classy appearance and color scheme.
The Roman numeral hour markers give it a very classical and stylish look. The round silver dial attached to the black croc-embossed leather strap make for a very striking appearance. Although some people have found the band to be rigid at first, a week’s use will make it a lot more flexible.
The white stitching on the band is very neat and well-finished with a silver clasp to match the dial. The crown is textured and onion-shaped with two large buttons on either side. The luminous turquoise metallic hands are the most eye-catching feature in its appearance, enclosed in a 44mm case and visible through genuine metal crystal.
The movement is a Japanese quartz with analog display. There are sub dials are for 60-second, 60-minute, and 24-hour each and there’s a date window between 3 and 4’clock positions.
Since the watch is water resistant up to a depth of 50 meters, you can probably take it swimming and snorkeling but not diving. It should be safe to wear the Invicta 90242-002 on all other non-water activities.
Weighing the quality against price, I think this watch is a pretty great deal. You’re getting the looks, functionality and chronograph feature all packed in a presentable box – I’d say it’s a good steal.
Analog Military Field Watch Style
Seiko 5 – SNK805 Automatic Watch
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If simple, practical and unpretentious is your style, the Seiko SNK805 is synonymous to these qualities. Bearing an uncomplicated face, clean appearance, and modern colors, the Seiko SNK805 is the ideal timepiece for those who just want a decent-looking way to keep track of time.
One look at this watch and you’ll know that despite its simplistic design, the watch is sturdy and long-lasting. The case is made of stainless steel but it’s not silver in color; instead it’s grey. The band is made of soft nylon that is comfortable on the wrist. That’s the whole purpose of a ‘military style’ watches, they are minimalistic in appearance to avoid catching enemy’s attention. Since there are no flashy cases and glossy bands it’s the kind of watch you’d be wearing for a casual day outing. The 37 mm case is a good size for someone looking for a fairly small watch.
As mentioned, the watch is refined and uncomplicated to look at without any sub dials. There are neatly situated Arabic minute markers on the outside and also hour markers on the inside. The hands are also thin with luminous markers at the edges and red tips.
The watch is fit with a Japanese automatic movement system, meaning it is powered by the movement of your hand, so you will have to wear it for at least 8 hours per to keep it on time. Otherwise, you might have to consider getting a watch winder to keep your watch ticking.
If you think an automatic movement system doesn’t compliment a casual watch, Seiko has tried to make up for that by fitting a calendar system in this timepiece. A day and date window sits at the 3’o clock position.
So if you’re on the lookout for a casual, minimalistic and budget-friendly watch, the Seiko SNK805 should top the list.
Invicta 8926OB Pro Diver
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Here’s a different looking contender on the list, the first one with a steel bracelet. The Invicta 8926OB Pro Diver is actually the most popular among the brand’s pro diver series. A read through its innumerable great features will definitely justify the claim.
Paying homage to the Rolex Submariner, the Invicta 8926OB Pro Diver can be spotted from feet’s away due to its eye-catching style and design. At 13mm thickness, the automatic watch is perfectly sized to fit comfortably under the sleeve cuff, while maintaining the look of a durable, formal watch.
It has a sturdy triple link steel bracelet on which rests a black-as-night unidirectional bezel with coin edge detailing. The 40 mm dial is also black with 3 luminous hands and hour markers for easy viewing in low light conditions, all enclosed in clear mineral glass with anti-reflective coating on the underside. A date display sits at the 3’o clock position, adjacent to which is the screw-down crown to prevent water infiltration.
Inside the watch beats the Seiko NH35A caliber 21 jewel Japanese automatic movement and you can view the craftsmanship through the clear skeleton case back. Plunge into depths of up to 200 meters and the Invicta 8926OB will be by your side – it’s a diver watch after all.
On the downside, a few complains have surfaced about the stiff bezel, the Cyclops attracting scratches and stain and the weak lume.
But apart from these, the Invicta 8926OB Pro Diver is the best diver’ style timepiece you’ll find at such an affordable price.
Casio G-Shock DW5600E-1V
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You look at the watch and you see G-Shock in the name, so we don’t need to tell you that the watch is sturdy, durable, and long-lasting.
Just like all members of the G-shock family, the DW5600E-1V has the basic features like (one) alarm, countdown timer, light, and 1/100-second stop watch. It also has an auto-calendar, hourly time signal, and 12 and 24-hour formats.
The black resin body is shock resistant and winds surprisingly comfortably on the wrist. A multi-functional 43mm rectangular dial sits in the centre displaying the time, date and day of the week. The width of the case is just 12.6mm so it’s doesn’t look like there’s a digital calculator hanging from your hand. So basically, the watch does what a watch is supposed to do without overcomplicating things. There are no 15 buttons or features for temperature reading, world time in 1,000 cities, or 10 alarms – it’s simple and clean.
It’s powered by a Quartz digital movement with accuracy of +/- 15 seconds per month – not too bad I’d say. The watch can safely dive up to 200 meters under water and also withstand mud, heat, and cold – it’s a timepiece for all elements.
The only downside? You can’t wear it to a board meeting or at a ball. But then that’s not the purpose anyway. The watch is made for the outdoors and recreational activities and that’s where it should be worn.
So now you not only know 5 amazing watches that come under $100, but you also have different styles to choose from according to your taste. Go digital or analogue, formal or casual, under water or high in the air – we have listed a watch for all occasions. Time to make a pick!